Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Double Life of Veronique

I don't want to write for too long tonight, although I think that might be hard to do because I really loved today's movie. I'm not feeling so well - I actually left work early today. I called my doctor to explain my wide range of seemingly unconnected symptoms, and they seemed really concerned about them and wanted me to come in right away. I think there was some worry that I might have had some sort of altitude-related sickness or maybe like, lyme diease or something, who knows. Luckily for me, I have neither - just an extremely bad bacterial infection and a compressed nerve in my leg. I'm glad that I went in, because my doctor said my infection could have gotten a lot worse if it wasn't treated. Although I'm skeptical of these antibiotics which have a huge warning that they can cause sporadic tendon rupture. Eeep! They're making me a little sick to my stomach, and I just want to make sure I get some rest so I can recover from this nastiness.

Blah blah blah. Today I watched The Double Life of Veronique, directed by Krzysztof Kieślowski in 1991. I have truly loved all of his films that I've seen for this project, and I was really excited to see another one of his works. I'm so glad I watched it, because I love this so much as well.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Dog Day Afternoon

So sleepy today. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are night where I'm not home until after 9pm, and it's just such a long day. I'm so beat by the time I put my film on, you know? I know a lot of people have seen this movie already, so I'm not going to go too crazy with it. I watched Dog Day Afternoon tonight, directed by the awesome Sidney Lumet in 1975. I actually own this movie on Blu-ray, even though I never saw it until today. It was one of those things where I knew I was going to have to watch it for the project, and I knew that everyone else I knew loved it, so I figured it was probably worth picking up. I'm so glad that I did! It's a really great film.

I love movies like that, that are just full of the best, natural pacing and great acting. I just feel like Lumet knew how to bring out the best in his actors, and it's so cool to see more of his work.

Monday, August 29, 2011


Oh my gosh guys do i even know how to blog anymore?
I'm so bummed to be back from vacation. We stayed in Colorado, at over 9,000 feet in a tiny cabin hidden away in a forest (not like Antichrist). A week without cell phone service, internet, telephones, TV, and even radio is so....wonderful. Sometimes I'd post some pictures for my family when I would be in town, but it was so nice to just relax in front of mountains and a lake and read. We had tons of hummingbirds at our cabin, and even a friendly deer (who in pictures looks like something out of Antichrist). Anthony and I had a lot of fun - we did everything from hiking followed by sleeping in and cooking out to taking the highest cog railway to Pike's Peak (hey, hiking is hard, ok?). Maybe someday when I have a moment to myself I'll see if I can find a decent picture or two for you kids.

Right now I'm so tired! We drove, which is a two day long drive for us. We drove all day yesterday and then had to get home, unpack, try to cram in some True Blood, and then attempt to sleep. I feel pretty beat, although it is nice to be back down at sea level where I can, yunno, breathe. 

Enough about me. I'm sure you're all crazy excited to hear about my latest movie escapade and not my doofy life. Er, at least a little excited. I hope.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

I'll be back in a week!

Currently on my way to a beautiful place...I'll see you guys next week (and start posting again on Monday).

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Dead

It's way past the time that I wanted to be in bed, and I'm just starting my post. I hope you'll understand if it's a little short - getting up at 3am for a trip is not easy.

Today I watched The Dead, directed by John Huston. It wasn't really a bad movie, but I couldn't get into it. After finding out it was an adaptation of a James Joyce story, I sort of understood why it fell so flat for me today. I'm not really able to just "read Joyce" - I sort of need to be in the mood for his style. Tonight was not one of those nights. I was fidgety and antsy because I had so much other stuff to do, and I just wasn't able to slow down to really lose myself in the film. I kept drifting off and thinking of other things, and reminding myself of things I still needed to take care of. I would just blame myself, but I watched the movie with my parents and Anthony, and no one really liked it much more than I did.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Dark City

Ok, I need to keep this short since it's too late for my taste and I still have stuff to do! Who knew packing for vacation could be so time consuming and stressful. I started packing clothes and stuff but I feel like I have nothing accomplished. Since we're leaving at like, 4am on Saturday, I want to have as much done as possible today so tomorrow I can just come home, pack some last few things, do my film of the day, eat, and go to bed. Hopefully. :)

Today I watched Dark City, directed by Alex Proyas in 1998. I can't remember why or when I saw this movie last, but I have seen it recently. I really like it. I've only see the director's cut with no voice over - I'm not sure if that matters. I love that it's one of those movies that combines incredible visuals with an awesome plot, but doesn't get bogged down with special effects and stupid like a lot of sci-fi does.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Man, it is way harder to do this movie project and get ready for vacation than I thought it would be. I literally have no free time to pack or get anything organized. I really like to leave a clean house, too, so that when I come home it's not so depressing and awful, but I haven't had any time to really do anything. I'm going to be really happy to just have a break for a little while, it's been tough to keep up with the pace I'm at.

Today I watched Crumb, directed in 1994 by Terry Zwigoff. I've had it on my Netflix queue for a while because I knew it was supposed to be good, but I never wanted to watch it. I didn't know who Robert Crumb was, and I never saw any of his work, and so I always felt so enthused about the movie. Why would I want to watch a documentary about a comic artist that I knew nothing about? I was really surprised by this film, though. I was so interested in Robert and his brothers, and even though I knew nothing about them or their art, I was really intrigued and engrossed for the whole film.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Crimes and Misdemeanors

Long day - I'm so sleepy! I was really happy to come home and watch a Woody Allen movie. I'm pretty new to his films, and it's been so fun to see his works through this project. I kept meaning to sit down and work my way through his films, but I never got around to it (of course). I've really grown to love him, though, and his great sense of humor and awesome writing ability.

Today I watched Crimes and Misdemeanors, which he directed in 1989. The plot seems much darker than his other films, but it's great. I love really dark comedy, and this one was fantastic. I was worried when the plot started to turn that it would get awkward or unfunny, but it really never did. It was so well-written and was a great blend of drama, dark comedy, and the normal Woody Allen comedy style that I love so much. The acting was great, too, and the whole movie was just really neat to watch.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Cool Hand Luke

I have to get up early for work tomorrow - I have a class that starts earlier in the morning, so I want to be able to get some rest for it. I'll probably just leave work early, though, since I have a lot of stuff to take care of at home. I leave for my vacation on Saturday at like, 4 a.m, so I have so many little things to take care of. Laundry, packing, getting supplies, cleaning, bleh. Just as a reminder, I won't be blogging while I'm on vacation - I'm going somewhere with no cell phone service, internet, TV, or radio. Sometimes the best part of vacations (for me) is getting away from technology. So don't freak out if I'm not posting, I'll be back!

Today I watched Cool Hand Luke, directed by Stuart Rosenberg in 1967, which I had somehow never seen before. I guess everyone I know loves it, but uh, never shared it with me. It was a one of my grandpa's favorite movies, which makes sense after I saw it.  I really liked it, although I felt like I just read the whole film differently than other people I know. It seemed really weirdly and overtly allegorical, which is...something. I always had the impression that it had funny scenes in it, but I didn't really see any. I could just be over-emotional and actually reading the film totally wrong, though.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Chuck Jones - Three Cartoons

Sort of nice to have something short to watch today - I really love seeing new films for this project, but sometimes it's nice to have a break. I really needed one today, too - the crazy weather is really bothering me, and I've had a nasty migraine since I woke up.  Today I watched three short cartoons by Chuck Jones - "What's Opera, Doc?", "Duck Amuck" and "One Froggy Evening".  They're pretty cute (I'm not the biggest fan of the characters or anything), but I liked that they seemed like they had a bigger story underneath - it wasn't just stupid comedy for kids or anything like that. They actually managed to be smart and funny at the same time, something that is all too rare these days.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Chop Shop

Got a lot of errands done today, which was nice. The camera lens I wanted to pick up, though, was sold out at every shop I went to today. I seem to have this effect on things - whenever there is something I want and I finally decide to buy it (after seeing it in shops for months), I never can find it and it's out of stock everywhere. I still I have a lot of stuff to take care of, which is sort of frustrating. While I was watching today's movie, I said that I wished it was a boring movie. "Why?" Anthony asked. "So we could get something done while we watch it," I answered. Ah well. Today's movie - Chop Shop, directed by Ramin Bahrani in 2007 was really good. Awesome because I got to see a great movie, but bad because I got nothing else done today. There's always tomorrow for that, I guess.

I've had this movie on my Netflix queue for a long time, and I never got around to watching it. I'm so glad I finally did - I probably never would have been pushed into it if it wasn't for this project. Not because it sounded like a bad movie - it sounded good enough to put in my queue - but because I just make really bad film choices when left to my own devices.

Chimes at Midnight

Sorry this post is so late, I'm so lazy on the weekend. I went out tonight to get some new fish for my tank - my lone angelfish Joel/Ethan (once there were two, but when one died I was never sure if Joel or Ethan was left) died of old age the other day, and I wanted to go get some new swimmy buddies. I got a really beautiful red crowntail betta, and some little schooling type fish like some dwarf rainbowfish and emerald eye rasboras. It's a fun tank, lots of neat colors and movement.

Anyway, enough about fishes. Today I watched Chimes at Midnight, directed by Orson Welles in 1965. This film is really hard to find - Ebert points to a version that is from Brazil but will play on US players. I ended up just buying something on Amazon's marketplace, which pretty much just seemed like it was homemade, but it played, and I saw my film, so all is well. I never heard anything about this film before, but it was actually really good. Welles was great - one of my favorite performances I've seen, really. His direction was awesome as well, and he showed how he was great at everything from indoor shots to creating epic battle scenes.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Cat People

I saw the first part of today's movie - Cat People, directed by Jacques Tourneur in 1942 - in a film noir class. We just watched some parts of it for the cinematography and tone and all that. Maybe we even saw the whole thing and I just slept, probably.

I don't much remember the Cat People I saw today. I do remember the 1982 remake, innocently rented by myself and my close guy friends in high school from the local library. I forgot why we thought it would be good, but I remember that we hated it. It was out of the DVD player within the first half hour. I'm pretty sure that what set us off was the incest - we had no idea that it would come up, and we were all pretty repulsed and displeased.

The 1942 film is nothing like that. It's all about subtle horror - the sort of movie where what you don't see is more important than what you do see. I like movies like that, that rely on building tension and have a slower burn.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


It's been a long day, and I am so tired! Please pardon my lazier posting as a result. I've been having a lot of issues with a project at work and it's been really frustrating. I was actually ready to cry over some labels today, I was so irritated with them. Yikes. Anyway, I think all the problems are finally fixed, so I can relax a little bit.

Today I watched Cabiria, directed by Giovanni Pastrone in 1914. It's a silent epic - probably the first epic ever made. It's sort of hard to follow. The intertitles are really complicated and strange, and there are a lot of characters to keep track of. It really requires you to work with it, which I was not so up to doing today. No fault of the movie, though. Really, what I loved about it was that it was from 1914 and it had incredible sets, huge amounts of extras, and a lot of cool costuming. It was a really ambitious project, and I have to respect it for that. It might not have fit my mood, but it really is an interesting film.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Blade Runner: The Final Cut

I hate writing about movies like this, that so many people have already seen and have opinions on. I always feel like people expect certain things to be said, you know? I don't really want to just restate everything we already know about today's movie, though. I watched Blade Runner, directed by Ridley Scott in 1982. I actually have never seen the theatrical version with the Harrison Ford narration. I saw the rushed director's cut, and then The Final Cut, when it made it's way through theaters in my area. I finally bought it on Blu-ray a week or so ago, and it was great watching it like that.

I always think about seeing Blade Runner in the theater whenever I watch it. It was such a fun experience, to see the film finally on the big screen, my friend, a Blade Runner super fan, whispering little tidbits of information into my ear the whole time. It was really a good night, and I can't help but remember it whenever I watch the film. Watching it tonight was nice, but nowhere near as cool looking or fun. It's a great movie, though, no matter how you see it (er, as long as it's the good version)

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Big Red One

Today I watched The Big Red One, directed and written by Samuel Fuller in 1980. The version I watched was the newer, restored version, with almost an hour of added footage. I really liked it - it was really different from other war movies that I've seen. Usually any movie, even war movies, focus on one big story arc that pays off at the end. Here, everything is episodic, how someone might actually remember a war. I really liked that about it, and I loved all of the little stories in the film.

It wasn't really a touching war film, full of emotional bonding or things like that which we often find in war movies. It was really different, but I really enjoyed it. I kept thinking I would get bored by it, especially because it was so long, but I was really engrossed in it the whole time it was on.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Best Years of Our Lives

Got a lot done today, although I didn't feel like it. I was so excited because at Whole Foods, when I was picking up some food, I saw that they now have veggie shrimps and tuna! I wish I could even describe how awesome this as. I know it sounds stupid and lots of people hate that sort of thing, but I think they're fun. They're different, and I'm excited to have something new to throw on the grill or on top of a salad. I got a new rack for my DVDs at Target, as well, so I could make room for my ever-expanding collection of Blu-rays. Anthony worked on organizing everything for me, even alphabetizing them. Awesome!

We had some great sushi and spring rolls with sake for dinner, and watched The Best Years of Our Lives, directed by William Wyler in 1946. It won a huge amount of Academy Awards - eight - and even had the same amazing cinematographer who did Citizen Kane. I was sort of dreading watching it, because it's so long and it sounded boring. Of course, I was so wrong. It was a great movie. I can't even get over how amazing it was. It had such a great story, and wasn't dated at all.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Bergman Trilogy 1 - The Silence

Last Bergman - not of the project, but for a while. I'm happy to be able to watch some other stuff for a while now. I feel like I got a lot done today, which was good. I picked up some supplies for my vacation. I wanted to get a backpack to take all my camera gear with me while I hike, but they were so expensive and all of them seemed too hardcore for a day hike. I wanted extra loops and straps for my tripod, but there weren't small or cheap day packs that had those features. I ended up getting a trekking pole that is also a monopod - you screw off the top part and it's got some threads for a camera or binoculars. I love getting new gear, and the more gadget-y it is, the better.

Anyway, you aren't here to read about my boring hobbies. I hope. Today I watched another Bergman, The Silence, directed in 1963. It's the last film in his first trilogy, although the films weren't intended to be, he just later noticed the similar themes in all three. I feel like I keep writing the same thing about these films, but they are pretty similar aside from plot. Great plot, great cinematography - I really liked it!

Bergman Trilogy 1 - Winter Light

Ok, here's my late post on Winter Light - I kept forgetting to post about it and then suddenly it was 3am, and I figured whatever I was going to write at that point would be so terrible I should just put it off. I don't feel bad since this is a trilogy, so I give myself a pass.

I wish I could explain my relationship with Bergman and his films. I really like them after while I watch them, and I really like thinking about them afterward. I often don't want to start watching them, though, and I sometimes don't want to write about them at all. It makes me feel like I dislike something about Bergman, but who knows what. I obviously like him, though. I have some sort of Bergman...problem.

Winter Light, which he directed in 1963. I quite liked it - the cinematography was a little more complex and interesting, and it was done very well. The story is interesting as well. I'm not sure why I so like Bergman's films that explore and question religion so much. I'm not a religious person, and perhaps his harsh investigations into religion ring true to me. I always find myself really interested in some of the observations that come out of these movies, and this one was no exception.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Bergman Trilogy 1 - Through a Glass Darkly

In Ebert's book, Ingmar Bergman's first Trilogy is one entry, divided up into a few smaller essays. He put it with the other "B" movies in the alphabet, so I'm watching them as such. I think I'll try to do something similar and make some shorter posts on each of these films, instead of one big post about all of them.

Today at work my co-workers took me  and another co-worker out for a combined birthday lunch, which was actually sort of fun. I work at a non-profit that helps adults with developmental disabilities, and after we ate, all of the participants who work in our restaurant came out to sing happy birthday to us. :) It pretty much made my day.

I came home to watch Bergman's Through a Glass Darkly. I personally found it almost the most accessible of any Bergman I've watched so far. Like, if someone wanted to watch Bergman movies and didn't know where to start, I'd recommend this one. There are other Bergman movies I've watched that may be better, but this one is a great example of his visual style and strange plots without being quite so difficult to follow.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Battle of Algiers

I've been trying to find some time to make sure I keep my list of movies and my calendar updated for you guys. Right now, unless there is another natural disaster, I should be done by Christmas day. Of course, every week Ebert adds a new Great Movie to his collection. One day I will catch up to him. I'm just not quite sure when that will be yet. It's been harder to keep up with work and everything else going on in my life, but it's worth it. I feel like I'm going to film school every night - at times it's tough, and at times it's fun, but overall, it's great.

I watched The Battle of Algiers, directed in 1966 by Gillo Pontecorvo in film classes before. I don't know if I ever saw the whole thing before now, but I'm glad that I did. It's a great film about war, and urban guerrilla warfare. It's shot in stark black and white, the contrast often extreme during violent scenes. It shows the first time this new sort of warfare was ever used, the sort that was later employed by many countries. I like that it feels like a documentary, and is still really important to watch today - guerrilla warfare is still so common today, especially in the war that has been going on.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


I love today's movie - Baraka, directed by Ron Fricke in 1992. Literally everything about it is astounding. I can't remember the first time I saw it. A friend of mine sent me links to it online when I was a freshman in college, and I remember going to a screening of it at DePaul the same year. When I got a Blu-ray player for Christmas, Baraka was one of the first movies that I bought for myself.

And how could I not? It's perfect for Blu-ray - huge 65mm film scanned into 8k -  the best looking movie I've seen in ages. It's pure cinema - no voice over, no dialogue, no words - just image. It makes perfect sense, and is beautiful and profound to watch. I never feel tired of the images in it. Some images are sad, some are stunning, but all of them are so human. It's an incredible film.

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Band Wagon

Today I watched The Band Wagon, directed by Vincente Minnelli in 1953. It wasn't really a bad movie, but I really didn't enjoy it. I was feeling like I was in a mood (not a bad mood - just a mood. You know, the kind where you just pick at jalapeno poppers for dinner instead of feeding yourself) and maybe that made me more cynical during the film. I also just didn't enjoy it. I like Fred Astaire, and he's a great dancer. I wish I could just have watched those scenes (as in, only the scenes of him dancing. So not even entire musical scenes, just the parts with Fred Astaire). The filler between them was meh, and a some of the songs were meh as well.

I feel like I sometimes just dislike musicals, but I do like some of them. I watched a few for this project that I ended up enjoying, because I could see why they were awesome, and they had enough awesome to outweigh the bits I didn't like. This felt like it was mostly bits I didn't like, and didn't have enough things to counter-act the blah parts. I don't know, it just didn't work for me.